Dear Mom & Dad,
I just got the kids down for a nap after swim class and lunch & playing with friends at Carney Park. They are both tired and should sleep well. Angelique does not sleep every afternoon now -- but most days she does. It depends on what she has done that morning - how tired she is. If she doesn't sleep, I send her to her room to rest with books or something. She seems to need some quiet time and so do I. They are both doing well in swim class.
Saturday we took Michael to the pool to show him what the kids could do. He was pleased. Angelique is actually swimming farther & farther all on her own and coming up to take breaths some. Of course, I have to stay right with her. She doesn't want her floaties on much anymore, but I insist she put them on while I'm working with Steven. Steven still enjoys jumping off the edge of the pool & splashing everyone more than anything. He still prefers to wear his floaties, but the teach, Miss Sandy, takes them off of him when we work with him. After he's finished, he's ready to go do more jumping.
Our weather is still pleasant, but everything is so dry. It has not rained in at least 6 weeks. There have been a lot of brush fires along the roads. Last year it rained every couple of weeks, but it was much hotter in July. I'm glad I'm not a farmer here, 'cause I prefer the pleasant temperatures & dry weather to the heat & occasional rain. We are watering our yard & flowers a lot.
Angelique is expecting about 10 kids for her party. I ordered her a stuffed Care Bear from Sears, but it has not come in yet. It better come soon. We got your cards the other day. We'll give the kids their cards on Angelique's birthday.
Don't plan on mailing presents for Steven's birthday, because we are planning on flying to Arkansas on the 6th of October. Michael needs to attend a Family Practice conference in Kansas City on October 8-12. He has to attend to get his Fellowship. I'm not sure what that is, but it means he gets to put all those fancy initials after his "M.D."
We'll fly together as far as St. Louis and then he'll fly to Kansas City and the kids & I will fly to Little Rock. It will be late Saturday night by the time we get there, so we could just spend Saturday night with Diane and them have her bring us on up to Searcy on Sunday. Or whatever. Will you be in your house already?? I hope so. We'll need to go to Harrison the next weekend to meet Michael and spend some time up there. Hopefully, the Coles can take us back to Little Rock the next Saturday to catch our plane back to Rome. Can you transport me & the kids to Harrison on Saturday, 13 October?
Mind you, this is all still in the planning stage and nothing in the military is definite until it's underway. We still don't know if the Navy will pay for Michael's ticket & conference; but if they don't he can claim it on his income tax for professional continuing education. I can claim my ticket on our income tax to come and look at the land we bought but haven't seen. Our round trip tickets will be about $900 each. The kids will be roughly half of that.
If you go back to work in the fall, please don't take off work at least the 1st day or 2 'cause it will take us that long to get over our jet lag. We probably won't be very good company at first until we're sleeping regularly.
The kids are real excited about going to Arkansas to see their Granny Lee & Papaw. Angelique wants to see Tim Davidson, too. But they may be in Kansas City for the conference, also. If so, maybe we can bump into them in Harrison as they drive back home.
I thought about having a birthday party for Steven at McDonald's on Sunday night, 7 October, if the Davidson kids were gonna be in town and Laura could be there & any other cousins that could make it. But I have no idea what shape my kids would be in sleep-wise at that point. Steven and Angelique would absolutely love it if they wouldn't be too exhausted. I assume McDonald's in Searcy does have the birthday parties like the ones in Little Rock and Fort Smith do. Do you know? They used to be about $20 for the cake, kids' food & drinks, games and party favors. I don't know what they are doing now. Diane or Alisa probably know about it. I guess I need to write them.
October will be halfway through our tour of duty here. It sure has gone fast in some ways. We've seen and done a lot, but there is still a lot more we want to do.
How's Cheryl & Justin? Is he gaining weight well? How early was he?
How did the Johns family reunion go? Who all came? Was it at Crowley's Ridge?
Is Brenda still breast-feeding some? How is that going? I haven't heard from them at all since Kem called. They must be very busy with that little guy.
I got a nice letter from Diane saying they were coming next June. You better get your name on the calendar before we're all booked up. Michael's parents are coming back next March.
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